Coaches of the Mountain West softball teams have picked Fresno State to finish second in a preseason poll that was released on Wednesday.
According to a Mountain West news release, reigning champion Boise State was picked to finish first again with 64 points and 8 first-place votes while the ‘Dogs received 57 points and one first-place vote.
San Jose State was picked to finish third followed by UNLV, San Diego State, Nevada, Colorado State, Utah State and New Mexico.
After a 2018 season that saw the ‘Dogs finish third in the MW behind Boise State and San Jose State, Fresno State has been predicted to finish ahead of the Spartans in the 2019 poll, the release said.
The ‘Dogs will feature a veteran roster with seven position players returning, including All-MW senior first baseman Rachel Minogue and junior catcher Hayleigh Galvan.
Fresno State boasted one of the nation’s most prolific offenses in 2018 with a team on-base percentage of .410 and also led the MW in triples and was second in home runs, doubles and slugging percentage.
The team’s top pitcher and All-MW selection Danielle East returns for her sophomore campaign a season after she broke the MW record for strikeouts in conference games by a freshman while winning 17 games, the release said.
Former UC Riverside pitcher Hailey Dolcini, who was an NFCA All-Pacific Region selection and Danielle Lung, who was a first team All-American selection from Clovis High School, will join East in the pitching rotation in 2019.